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How to Not Fall Asleep in Class

How to Not Fall Asleep in Class
Written by Matthew Hermann

You try desparately to keep your eyes open during another long lecture. Despite the force you put against your eyelids, they slowly weigh back down. Your head feels heavy and it slowly leans forward. I’ll just rest my eyes for a few seconds and…

*SNAP*

In one fell swoop you jerk your head back up before it crashes onto your desk. You hear a few people behind you snicker.  Your bobble head performance is becoming the center of attention.

This is torture…

We’ve all been there.

Whether it’s a class you need to pass or a company lecture you’re forced to attend, the chances of falling asleep in the middle of long discussions are high. What can you do about it? How can you not look like a drunken giraffe, and actually walk away with whatever wisdom that’s being bistowed upon you?

This article will give you 5 of the best tips on how to not fall asleep in class.

  1. Missing headline - Keeping any part of your body in motion will help block the process of shutting down. That pen you’re not using? Twirl it around your fingers. Don’t have a pen? Twiddle your fingers. Tap you hands on your thigh to the newest song that’s trending on TikTok and you can’t get out of your head. Wiggle your legs. Tap your feet. Plan ahead and bring fidget spinners or stress balls (bonus if you can find the head that pops the eyes and tongue out when you squeeze it). The more you can keep your body in motion while listening to the lecture, the better.
  1. Question and comment - Challenge yourself to ask questions or make comments during class. A lot of people are too afraid to speak up in class because of the fear of looking stupid. Sometimes it can pump a bit of adrenaline in the body if you actually speak up in public. That adrenaline can you wake you right up. If you’re not afraid of talking out loud, then challenge yourself to be the most engaged student in class. Ask more questions and share reltable anectdotes. See if you can write down five questions during the discussion. Once you hit five questions, begin asking them.
  1. Drink cold beverages - There are two benefits to this. First: Stimulating the senses with an ice cold beverage can give your system a shock that pumps adrenaline through your veins. Next: If you drink enough, you’ll have to pee. The combination of a full bladder and getting up to go to the bathroom is a sure-fire way to stay awake. It may not be the most comfortable process, but it works. While something like an iced coffee can boost your energy with caffeine, it can also cause a caffeine crash later on. We recommend that you stick with iced water. Not only is it healthier for you (even for your skin and hair), but you don’t risk passing out as an after-effect.
  1. Become an artist - Doodle. You don’t have to be the next Claude Monet to be an artist. Grab your pencil and create visual representations of what’s being discussed. Add abstract shapes. Connect ideas with squiggly lines and stars. Did you know that doodling can even improve your memory? Watching someone drone on about a topic can be mind-numbing. So include a pop of art in the discussion to keep your mind more engaged and retain more information while you’re at it.
  1. Freshen your breath - Stock up on spearmint gum, Altoids, or any other minty product you can stick in your mouth. The menthol odor will not only help to snap you out of your lull, but it can stimulate the part of your brain that controls mental clarity and memory (the hippocampus). That cute classmate of yours might also ask for a piece of gum and you won’t offend anyone with your fish breath. Win win win!

There you have it. The five best tips for staying awake in class. While we can’t prevent you from ever sitting through a boring lecture again, we can at least help you survive them while remaining conscious.

 

Last updated July 20, 2021 by Matthew Hermann